God be Merciful to me a Sinner.
Luke 8:39 Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Not frequently have I heard a story of this kind from a man who has passed the prime of life, whose garments bear evidence, though he still looks respectable, that he is one who has seen many sorrows and trials, and who carries on his brow the marks of the ploughshare of grief. He has come to unite in fellowship with the church, and he begins telling the story of his conversion, which is something like this: — “I was once a flourishing tradesman; I had a large business, and was a wealthy man; but, alas! I was foolish; worse than that, I was wicked; I miss-spent my time, I delighted in the ways of sin, and became a profligate. My companions thought me generous, and I did not wish to be less than they thought me to be; so I wasted my substance in riotous living. My business suffered; and, at last, there came a crash. All I had went where all must go when a man squanders his time and money as I squandered mine.
I became poor; I had not previously known what it was to eat the bread of dependence, but I did eat it for a few months. Friends assisted me for a time, but they grew tired of doing so, and I was cast off by the world; and I felt, when any looked coldly upon me, that I deserved it. I have been a fool, sir, I know that I have; but it was then, one cold, pitiless night, when there was only one place where I could find shelter for my head, — that place was the pauper’s last refuge; — it was then that I thought upon my ways, and lifted my eyes to heaven, and breathed the prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The man has told me that he blesses God for his poverty, for that was the means of bringing him to Christ; and since he has come to know the Lord, he has thought it a thousand mercies, that he was thus brought very low, for if he had not been, his proud spirit would never have been broken, and he would never have been humbled before the Lord.